11/05/13 – Marseille v Toulouse – Match Preview

11/05/13 –16:00 (UK)
Marseille v Toulouse
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Ref. – Saïd Ennjimi

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Marseille will hope to secure Champions League football for next season with a win over Toulouse at the weekend. A victory will guarantee 3rd place, and the safety of at least having the qualification round for the Champions League. Victory won’t be easy for OM though as Toulouse come into the match on the back of a well deserved 4-2 victory over Lille.

Olympique de Marseille

With 3 enforced changes last week, in the shape of Abdallah, Amalfitano and Barton, Elie Baup can welcome back Andre Ayew, although Rod Fanni Benoit Cheyrou are still unavailable.
Barton received a 2 game suspended ban over the weekend for his twitter comments about Thiago Silva. Abdullah has served the suspension he received for misdemeanours playing for the OM reserves.
The full squad is made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Abdallah, Nkoulou, Diawara, Morel, Mendes, Abergel, Barton, Romao, Abdullah, Valbuena, Andre Ayew, Kadir, Amalfitano, Sougou, Gignac and Jordan Ayew.
Expected line up and formation:

Mandanda
Abdallah Nkoulou Mendes Morel
Barton Romao
J. Ayew Valbuena A. Ayew
Gignac

Toulouse

After a solid start to Ligue 1, Alain Casanova’s side have slumped to a solid mid table position after picking up only 4 wins in the 16 games since the winter break. Other than the win over Lille the other 3 victories this year had come against the teams currently in the bottom 5 of the table.
The win over Lille was comfortable to say the least, with Toulouse being as good as Lille were bad. 2 goals in the first half came from shots from distance that Elana really should have done better with. The 2 second half goals were well worked and showed the quality that TFC have in players such as Rabiot, Braaten, Ben Basat and Ben Yedder, although again some fingers could be pointed at the Lille defence.
Likely line up and formation:

Ahamada
Akpro Yago Abdennour Aurier
Capoue
Braaten Didot Rabiot Sylla
Ben Basat

Summary

After offering up some goals and entertainment in the previous home game against Bastia, OM will hope to entertain the fans again in their penultimate home game of the season. Whether or not this comes through a solid, 1 goal win that guarantees the return of Champions League football or in a 5 goal thriller that guarantees the same, most fans realistically won’t mind. Lets finish a season that has probably surpassed most fans expectations, and build on that over the summer.

Selected odds (Bet365 correct at time of publication)
Marseille: 1.62
Draw: 3.60
Bastia: 6.00

Weekend Fixtures:
Lille 3v0 Reims
Brest v Sochaux
Valenciennes v Rennes
Bastia v Montpellier
Ajaccio v Troyes
Bordeaux v Nancy
Lorient v Saint-Etienne
Evian v Nice
Lyon v psg

What might happen?
With the remaining fixtures there are still a host of scenarios at the end of this season. So lets have a quick look.
Ligue 1 Champions – psg/Marseille
A win from their remaining 3 games will guarantee psg the title that most expected them to win, despite the possibility (unlikely as it is) that they could be docked points for Leonardo’s shoulder barge on the referee after the Valenciennes game. As psg play away to Lyon this week, the championship confirmation could be delayed until the following week with a Lyon win (unless a Marseille defeat by Toulouse).
2nd place (automatic Champions League qualification) – Marseille/Lyon/Nice/Saint-Etienne
Marseille are clearly in the driving seat for this with both Nice and ASSE requiring OM to pick up 0 points from their final games in order for them to qualify. Lyon can still make it to 72 points by winning all 3 games, so Marseille need 2 wins to ensure qualification.
3rd & 4th (Champions League qualifying round/Europa League) – Marseille/Lyon/Nice/Saint-Etienne/Lille
Other than a total collapse from OM the fight for 3rd place is really between Lyon, Nice and ASSE, giving next weeks game between Nice and Lyon extra significance. ASSE’s game with OM may hold some importance but the final game of the season between Lille and ASSE could be a winner takes all match in terms of European football.
Relegation – Valenciennes/Bastia/Reims/Ajaccio/Sochaux/Nancy/Evian/Troyes/Brest
With no teams yet relegated there are still 9 teams who could mathematically go down. Given their current run of form it seems unlikely that Troyes or Brest will pull off a great escape but it could still happen. Ajaccio-Troyes this week, Nancy-Bastia and Evian-Valenciennes the following week then Bastia-Sochaux, Valenciennes-Troyes and Brest-Nancy are all the stand out ‘6 pointers’ in the final weeks.

17-19 May:
Nice v Lyon
Montpellier v Lille
psg v Brest
Rennes v Ajaccio
Reims v Lorient
Saint-Etienne v Marseille
Nancy v Bastia
Troyes v Bordeaux
Sochaux v Toulouse
Evian v Valenciennes

26 May:
Bastia v Sochaux
Lyon v Rennes
Brest v Nancy
Valenciennes v Troyes
Toulouse v Montpellier
Lorient v psg
Ajaccio v Nice
Bordeaux v Evian
Marseille v Reims
Lille v Saint-Etienne

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)

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